"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Seven days 'till Christmas--journeys

Christmas journeys, 5 x 7 watercolor, card
"I'll be home for Christmas" is more than a romantic song.
During any war, the desire for peace and home is more intense this season.
But for loved ones far away, in any time, the yearning to see parents, children, grandchildren and other family means journeys, or wished for journeys especially at Christmas.
We remember those, traveling home from college, or waiting for children to arrive, or missing them so much because you know they won't come up the front drive after months, or years away.
Today most travel is by plane or cars, but there was a time when long distance travel was by train ... and those memories and more are the most romantic, the most compelling if you ever experienced them.
I love all trains, and especially steam trains, and when you find people who also love them, there is a bond that goes deeper.
This watercolor of a locomotive taking on water in snowfall catches my traveling mood for the holidays. Can you hear the whistle? Can you imagine the gentle swaying of the train through the night? Consider the anticipation of arriving at some far off place and loved ones waiting for you?
Wish I could catch a train to anywhere, but especially this season, with someone waiting ....
I borrowed my idea from my Dad, Terrence Miller Clark, who did this scratch board (an ink-covered white board with the image painstakingly scratched out with a sharp knife) of a locomotive in Fort Worth years ago. I was a child and with him when he drew it in the summer, and have the sketch. Then a few years later he turned it into a family Christmas card.  The original hangs in our house--memories of journeys and miles and who I am.
My watercolor, not as good, but still from the heart, went as a card to dear friends who also love trains.
Holidays--a time of journeys for people and souls--over the miles and over the years.
Scratch board, 11 x 13, Fort Worth roundtable in snow, Terrence Miller Clark



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